A Moment from the Early History of Kingman (1877)
William G. Cutler
History of the State of Kansas (1883)

The town (of Kingman) having been started, it remained stationary for a long time, no further improvement taking place until 1878. In the meantime, Manning's store had changed hands and had passed into the possession of one C. C. Barnard.


In the fall of 1877, a young attorney, named George E. Filley, arrived in town and quartered himself at the Kingman House. His practice commenced by husking corn for his board. One evening Mr. Barnard went to him and told him that he thought his business would warrant him in employing a clerk, and offered Mr. Filley the position, which he accepted.

An invoice was taken of the goods, and they were found to consist of a few plugs of tobacco, two or three gallons of whisky, a few corset strings and some shoe laces, with a few pieces of calico. Mr. Barnard went off for a few days hunting, but before leaving he prepared a ledger from some coarse wrapping paper and instructed Mr. Filley as to how he should enter up his charges. Mr. Barnard returned in about two weeks and found his stock of goods all sold, even to the last drop of whisky and the last plug of tobacco. He found $2, cash, in the drawer, the balance of the goods having been sold on credit and charged.

The customers were Parks, Roberts, Ball and Chandler. Mr. Barnard being desirous of replenishing his stock, started out next morning with his pocket full of bills on a collection tour. He called on Chandler, who gave him an order on Roberts for the amount of his bill, which the latter accepted, he in turn giving an order on Parks for the amount of his account with Chandler's added. Parks accepted and gave an order on Ball, the latter repeating the operation by giving an order on Chandler, and when the day closed Mr. Barnard found himself about as rich as when he started out in the morning.

Goods must be had, if he meant to do business, and the following morning he and Mr. Filley started to Castleton with a team and wagon for a new supply, and with a cash capital of $2. On entering the store at Castleton, the eye of Mr. Barnard rested upon a tobacco-cutter, which he immediately purchased and for which he paid $1.50. He next selected his stock to the amount of $100, which he loaded in the wagon and was about to drive away, when the merchant demanded his pay, in default of which, the goods were unloaded and carried back into the store, and Mr. Barnard and his clerk started back to Kingman, sans goods, sans money, but with a $1.50 tobacco-cutter.

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